White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Monday that President Joe Biden is looking to build out half a million electric vehicle charging stations — focusing on “rural and disadvantaged communities” — as part of his $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill.
Jen Psaki: 500,000 electric vehicle charging stations are needed for “rural and disadvantaged communities.” pic.twitter.com/qgH3CdLpVr
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) June 28, 2021
It should be noted that the average electric car costs around $55,600, and they are best utilized in cities.
It is not clear how disadvantaged communities could afford them or why rural residents would be interested in purchasing them.
Mark Wakefield, a managing director at the automotive and industrial practice at AlixPartners, estimates $50 billion will be needed to build out a charging network to accommodate the expected growth of EVs by 2030 in the U.S., CNBC reported.
“It is a big pill to swallow for anybody,” Wakefield told CNBC. “These are really, really expensive, especially these fast chargers.” A typical fast charger costs between $120,000 to $260,000 to be installed.
The U.S. Department of Energy counts 49,008 stations in North America today. Biden wants 10 times that number. That would greatly impact the charging industry that private companies have spent hundreds of millions investing in.
EVs Not a Big Hit in Rural America
With an average range of 2020 models around 250 miles, electric vehicles aren’t a good solution for rural residents who may drive long distances to shop, drop kids off at school or visit relatives and friends.
That is why the vast majority of EV ownership is concentrated around large cities.
25 Top Cities to Own Electric Vehicles
Source: LawnStarter pic.twitter.com/m6SkX9KO05
— Eric Nanneman (@enanneman) June 28, 2021
Would Disadvantaged Communities Truly Benefit from Additional Chargers?
It is hard to make a case for how more charging stations would actually help poorer communities, whose residents would struggle to buy an electric car.
World Population Review issued a report of the 10 poorest cities with populations over 100,000 and found that the median income ranged from $27,838 to $37,118 using 2018 data.
The median household income in the United States was $63,179.
How residents of Detroit, Cleveland or Newark could benefit from more charging stations when they would need around two years of salary to purchase an electric car is unclear.
Certainly these residents would instead want more affordable housing, which the $50 billion charger price tag would go a long way to help.
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